Out of the total financial outlay of Rs. 2.11 lakh crore for the XII Five Year Plan of the State, Rs. 3,078 crore has been allotted exclusively for forest development.

Planting a sapling by itself is an insurance for which now an insurance programme – a first-of-its-kind in the State – is being inaugurated, Vice-Chairperson of State Planning Commission Santha Sheela Nair said here recently.

She was launching the tree insurance scheme at the Forest College and Research Institute of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University at Mettuapalayam.

The Institute has tied up with United India Assurance, Chennai, to develop a comprehensive ‘Agroforestry Plantation Insurance’ plan for casuarina, eucalyptus, meial dubia, ailanthus, gmelina, leucaena and dalbergia sisso.

The premium rate for basic plan will be 1.25 per cent of input cost, which will cover the perils such as forest and bush fire, lightning, riot and strike, storm and cyclone, flood and inundation, and loss to wild animals. Vice-Chancellor of TNAU K. Ramasamy said that food and wood farming were essential to achieve the goal of the Government in doubling the yield and tripling the income in farming. He urged insurance companies in the State to come forward to support vegetable farming, and growing of fruit trees. Chief Manager of United India Insurance N.K. Buddhan said that nearly 40,000 tree growers had shown interest in enrolling for the tree insurance programme. Ms. Nair released a book on tree planting insurance.

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